NES Virtual Console Titles Not Yet Updated for Wii U
February 15, 2015

A short time back, I put together this post naming the 50 NES games that I thought should come to the Virtual Console service for Wii U.

Today, I was cleaning my office, and as one thing led to another (it's a long, boring story), I wound up putting together a new list. This new list names the NES games that are currently available on the Wii version of the Virtual Console, but which haven't yet been updated for Wii U.

Typically, any Wii version of a NES title you own will be updated, and you can buy the updated version for $1 or so. Then it can get all cozy with your Virtual Console collection saved directly to the Wii U's hard drive, and you don't have to go into the emulated Wii. Having games more conveniently accessible is terrific, and I hope that eventually all titles will be updated in this manner. Looking at the list below, though, it seems likely that some never will. Likewise, they may eventually disappear altogether, so it's probably not a bad idea to grab any of the key titles you might want... while it's still possible.

Without further preamble, here is the list:

A Boy and His Blob
Adventures of Lolo 2
Bio Miracle Bokutte UPA
Blades of Steel
Blaster Master
Bubble Bobble
City Connection
Double Dribble
Elevator Action
Final Fantasy
King's Knight
Lunar Pool
Milon's Secret Castle
NES Play Action Football
Ninja Gaiden II
Ninja Gaiden III
Ninja JaJaMaru-kun
Operation Wolf
Princess Tomato in the Salad Kingdom
River City Ransom
Skykid (added 03/05/15)
Star Soldier
Tecmo Bowl
The Legend of Kage
Zoda's Revenge: StarTropics II

Now, how likely are each of those titles to make the trip to Wii U? Well, it varies.

A Boy and His Blob is now apparently owned by Majesco, which is having tough financial times and could even go broke.

Adventures of Lolo 2 is published by Nintendo, and the first one has made the trip. The second one is likely on its way when Nintendo needs to fill a week. Maybe the third one, which hasn't yet hit Virtual Console at all in North America, will follow after that.

Bio Miracle Bokutte UPA is an import. Konami has offered some support, so this one could still come... along with Blades of Steel and Double Dribble. Konami also publishes Hudson's stuff, which will affect the possible release of Faxanadu, Milon's Secret Castle, Princess Tomato in the Salad Kingdom, and Star Soldier.

Blaster Master is published by Sunsoft, which has already brought over Ufouria, so it seems likely that Blaster Master will also arrive if Sunsoft remains even a little bit interested in Virtual Console.

Square Enix has shown no interest in updating its many titles for Wii U, which (at least for now) would appear to rule out a bunch of the remaining titles on the list. Don't forget that Square Enix also owns Taito. By my estimation, this means we are unlikely to see Bubble Bobble, Elevator Action, King's Knight, Operation Wolf, and The Legend of Kage.

Jaleco has been mostly absent from recent efforts, which probably rules out City Connection and Ninja JaJaMaru-kun.

Tecmo is quite active, so we may yet see Tecmo Bowl. Then again, licensing issues or something else I don't even know about could easily prevent it.

Zanac, Skykid, and Lunar Pool are tough ones to call, but I wouldn't be surprised if we don't see any of them.

The good news is that although Wii U has mostly been retreading the stuff we previously saw on Wii, it has also been breaking some new ground. Lately, the updates have come at a fairly regular schedule, and Capcom in particular has offered a lot of new support. With any luck, we can look forward to many of the above titles eventually arriving, and some others besides. Here's hoping!

Most recent blog posts from Jason Venter...

JoeTheDestroyer JoeTheDestroyer - February 15, 2015 (07:59 PM)
You're not missing much with King's Knight. You can easily simulate the playing experience by falling groin first onto a balance beam.


Bubble Bobble is a bummer, though. Operation Wolf would almost be worth lamenting, but it doesn't compare to its arcade counterpart (of course).
honestgamer honestgamer - February 15, 2015 (08:44 PM)
Heh. I actually have played--and in most cases, own a physical copy of--better than half the titles on that list... including King's Knight. And that one I didn't play for long. Still, I'm all for the Virtual Console allowing us to buy as many old games from the past as possible, even if they're not especially good ones. There's historical value to be had, for a nerd like me!
JoeTheDestroyer JoeTheDestroyer - February 15, 2015 (09:48 PM)
overdrive overdrive - February 16, 2015 (06:31 AM)
Are other Tecmo sports games with player licenses on the VC? Because I could see the problem being that Tecmo doesn't have the NFL Players Association license any more, which might prevent them from using the likeness of former players.
joseph_valencia joseph_valencia - February 16, 2015 (04:12 PM)
I remember "Blades of Steel". We would ignore the actual hockey game and just get into fist fights.
honestgamer honestgamer - February 16, 2015 (04:39 PM)
I didn't get to talk games with a lot of kids when I was growing up, but when I did, it seemed like someone always mentioned Blades of Steel with a certain level of reverence that made me want to play it myself. I never did, though.

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